Weekly Motivation

When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe, Then You'll Be Successful. (6)

Here’s your weekly motivation! I remember first getting into physical therapy school and thinking to myself, “How am I ever going to learn ALL of this information?” It was overwhelming.

To be honest it was like learning a new language. Fast forward 7 years later and now I can say with pretty good confidence that I do consider myself an “expert” in what I do.

Remember that it takes time to build your craft. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re not where you’re at right now. Keep working towards that goal.

 

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The Opioid Crisis – How PT Can Help

Within the United States, opioid use and opioid-related deaths have reached a staggering rate.

According to the US Health and Human Services, in 2015 alone, 33,091 people died from opioid use and over 12.5 million people misused opioids that were prescribed by their physicians. Furthermore the CDC states that 91 people die everyday from opioid overdose. The numbers are staggering and they continue to climb. The following graphic shows many of the recent numbers regarding opioid epidemics.

 

Factsheet on Opioids

(www.hhs.gov)

What is an opioid?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse opioids are, “a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.”

 

The numbers are even worse close to home. In Rhode Island alone, over 1000 people died within the last 5 years, which tops all New England states.

Why the Epidemic?

I don’t like to make generalizations as everyone’s individual case is different. So I will share reasons that I have personally encountered in my personal and professional life that I feel contribute to the epidemic.

  1. People have no other options. When it comes to pain, sometimes it can get so severe that when physicians no longer prescribe opioids, many turn to illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl – much cheaper options. This then can begin a deadly cycle of addiction.
  2. People don’t know their other options. I’ve talked to many people and when they explain their situation to me, many do not realize that physical therapy was even an option to begin with in helping them with their pain, or their experience with their physical therapist did not go so well.
  3. Cost of Physical Therapy. Cost of physical therapy for some people is another reason why many are stuck with taking opioids for their pain. High deductible rates can place a financial burden on individuals. So when people cannot afford it, they visit their physician asking for more opioids.
  4. Insurances Will Not Give More Visits. Some insurance companies limit the number of visits one can have, which is understandable in some cases, however, some make it extremely difficult to approve for more visits. In the end the patient is still in pain.

 

How PT can Help

  1. Physical therapists are educators. As a PT, I believe our first job is to educate the public. It’s really important to let patients know the side-effects of opioids, what it can lead to, and what our role is in their health.
  2. PT solves the ACTUAL cause of pain, whereas opioids mask it. While pain reduction is important, pain also gives a signal to our brain that something isn’t right. So when someone on opioids doesn’t feel their pain they may do more damage to themselves. PT will address the real issue of the cause to one’s pain rather than masking it.
  3. Non-pharmacologic interventions are the preferred option when managing chronic/acute pain.
  4. Movement and exercise are natural pain killers. PT’s can help you move in a non-threatening way. Exercise has also been shown to improve pain by releasing natural endorphins within the body.

 

Please consult or seek out a physical therapist if you or anyone you know is dealing with pain. Possible addiction is not worth it!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

Weekly Motivation

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Here is your weekly motivation of the week! How many times have we held ourselves back from doing certain things because we weren’t comfortable with it? I’ve done this so many times and it was because I was either too scared, too embarrassed, or just not confident enough in myself.

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It’s something that I’ve had to work on daily, and being a PT I’m forced into positions that make me uncomfortable – whether it’s doing an initial evaluation, talking to another physician, or making conversation with a complete stranger. It’s difficult but I can honestly say that I’ve gotten so much better at it.

There is absolutely no growth in the comfort zone. When you’re comfortable, you’re stagnant, and your actions reflect that. I challenge you this week to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable because I can tell you that the more you do it the more CONFIDENT you become and the more powerful you feel!

 

Dr. Jomar C Farrales, PT, DPT

NFL Star Safety to Physical Therapist?

“What do you enjoy about being a physical therapist?”

This question was brought up by my mentor and colleague Greg Todd a few days ago. It’s a question I’ve been asked numerous times and I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer: Helping PEOPLE get back to doing what they love to do and helping them see their possibilities! It’s all about the PEOPLE! Physical therapy is something I am passionate about – and not because of the title or because of the monetary benefits – but because I truly care about helping people. I like to think of it as a “calling” rather than just my “job”.

Recently, I came across an article on social media about NFL starting safety David Bruton of the Denver Broncos. After retiring from the NFL, Bruton had decided to get into the field of physical therapy. Why? Because “there’s a rewarding factor to getting somebody back to work, getting somebody back to doing what they never thought they could do again”.

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There’s no better feeling than seeing a patient who was unable to work because of severe low back pain return to work to support their family or a patient who was a track star return to sprinting after injuring their hamstring or seeing someone with a spinal cord injury take their first steps again. It’s REWARDING and that beats any type of monetary gain.

Hope you enjoyed the post! Remember, love what you do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

 

 

Weekly Motivation

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Here is your Weekly Motivation! This is a quote that really resonated with me and I think will resonate with a lot of people. I came upon this quote while reading Jen Sincero’s book, “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Amazing Life”.

If you haven’t read this book I highly suggest you do. It’s an awesome read and it really helps you prioritize things in your life and gives you an amazing way of doing it. The book really helps set you up to action as opposed to just thinking about it.

We all have unique traits and gifts that are unique to US as individuals. I think in today’s day and age we do a lot of comparing, whether it’s through social media, work, school, family, or while casually going about our day; and honestly it’s hard not to compare ourselves with those around us.

We’ve been reprogrammed to do it; it’s something we don’t even really think about when we do. It’s done all type of ways too – comparing yourself physically, monetarily, personality-wise, etc. the list goes on and on. It’s done much easier just because of how big social media is in today’s world.

However, this constant comparison can set us up for failure. When we compare ourselves to others we forget about our own set of talents and who we are as individuals. The important thing is to ALWAYS be true to who YOU are. Don’t let society, other people, or your fears get in the way of setting yourself or your life the way you want it to be. 

JUST BE YOU. You have everything you need to succeed and you don’t have to be someone you’re not. DO YOU. Remember to be true to yourself this week! You will see just how much you have to offer and opportunities will come to you!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

Athletic Focus: ACL Tears

NFL season is coming up soon and teams are starting to prepare and go through practices! While practices are still non-contact in nature in the early stages, players unfortunately still suffer major injuries that impact their season status. I’m using football as one example but ACL tears quite frankly occur in just about every major sport.

A common injury that occurs during non-contact drills are ACL tears. The ACL is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. This is located within the knee joint itself and assists in stabilizing the knee and prevents anterior tibial translation on the femur.

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This ligament can tear when there is a strong valgus force that occurs at the knee. A valgus force simply means a lateral to medial force. Think of a blow to the knee or a tackle to the outside of the knee.

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However, ACL tears can also occur with hyperextension of the knee or with a planted foot while cutting. The planted foot causes the tibia to externally rotate while the femur internally rotates, causing a “twisting” force. With powerful cuts, the ACL could possibly tear. When the ACL does tear people usually hear an “audible” pop and immediately cannot bear any weight through the knee. In addition, when the ACL tears further injury to the MCL (medial collateral ligament) as well as tears within the medial meniscus can occur, also known as the “Terrible Triad”.

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Following the ACL tear there is immediate swelling of the knee and an inability to bend or extend the joint. Once an ACL tear occurs, surgery is usually warranted followed by intensive Physical Therapy. Early stages involve decreasing swelling, pain, improving gait, while restoring normal quad strength. Eventually the patient performs return to sport activities, agility drills, etc.

A big part of physical therapy is getting the athlete or patient to GAIN confidence within the knee. This is one of the hardest things to do for any patient dealing with any type of painful injury. An ACL tear is traumatic, painful, and can KILL an athlete’s confidence. Many athlete’s are never the same after tearing this ligament. So another BIG part of therapy is to give the patient the CONFIDENCE they once had in performing those cuts, sprints, jumps, etc. It’s challenging but so rewarding to see a patient get back to what they LOVE doing!

So there’s a little background on the what exactly an ACL tear is, how it happens, and what physical therapists will work on with the patient!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT